This year on 16 April marked 40 years since the death of one of the biggest names in Spanish pop music; Luis Manuel Ferri Llopis. Better known by his stage name Nino Bravo, which was given to him by his first manager Miguel Siurán, the pop legend who lost his life in a car accident in 1973 in the town of Villarubio, Cuenca.
Born in 1944 in the Valencian town of Ayelo de Malferit where a museum now commemorates his incredible career, Nino Bravo moved to the city of Valencia at a very young age, starting a budding career as a vocalist in bands such as Los Hispánicos and Los Superson. In 1968, he began his solo career with successful performances in the Teatro Principal in Valencia and, in the same year, signed a five-year contract with record label Fonogram, during which time he released three albums with songs that have come to be well-known throughout Spain since their release such as ‘Te quiero, te quiero’ which marked the start of his collaboration with talented composer Augusto Algueró, ‘Noelia’, ‘Esa sera mi casa’, ‘Voy buscando’, ‘América, América’, ‘Tu cambiarás’, ‘Puerta de amor’, ‘Cartas amarillas’, ‘Un beso y una flora’, ‘Mi tierra’ and ‘Libre’; many which also bear the name of musician Juan Carlos Calderón.
After Bravo’s death, a posthumous album was released of his latest recordings. Nino Bravo competed in the selection process of Spain’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, however, was unsuccessful in both. In 1970, Julio Iglesias was chosen to represent the country with ‘Gwendolyne’ and, on the second occasion, Bravo lost to the fortunate Karina who was selected through the televised competition ‘Pasaporte a Dublín’, with her song ‘En un mundo nuevo’.
To mark the anniversary of Bravo’s death, a project was set in motion in order to restore and to update the sound of some of this Valencian singer’s greatest hits, thanks to the musical arrangements of singer and multi-instrumentalist Guille Milkyway; founder of the Spanish indie band La Casa Azul. Interestingly enough, although already well-known, Milkyway is actually the only member of this musical formation as others who appeared in many of the first music videos were just actors. Milkyway worked on this new sound project with the main disadvantage of only having the original copy, meaning he wasn’t able to extract the seperate voice track. The result of his impressive work is the album ‘En libertad’, which compiles 12 of Bravo’s songs complete with new musical arrangements produced by La Casa Azul.